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Hepatitis C Investigation in a Las Vegas, Nevada Endoscopy

In January 2008, investigators from CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis and Division of Health Care Quality Promotion responded to a request from the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) to help investigate three persons reported to the local surveillance program with acute Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection; all three persons had undergone procedures at a Las Vegas endoscopy clinic. Since beginning the investigation, CDC and SNHD have identified a total of six cases of HCV infection among patients who had undergone procedures at the clinic in the 35–90 days prior to onset of symptoms. These patients did not have other risks for HCV infection. Molecular diagnostic testing conducted by CDC confirmed the relatedness of several of these infections.

On investigation of the clinic, CDC and SNHD observed practices that had the potential to transmit HCV. On the basis of these findings, SNHD is notifying 40,000 past patients who were potentially exposed to HCV and other infectious diseases. CDC is providing ongoing support to SNHD for this investigation.

Health care associated transmission of HCV infection accounts for a small proportion of infections in the United States. Since 2001, CDC has identified other HCV outbreaks in health care settings associated with syringe reuse and other lapses in recommended infection control practices.

In response to these investigations, patients with possible exposures associated with these outbreaks were notified and directed to testing for HIV, HBV, and HCV.

For more information about the investigation, visit:
 
Southern Nevada Health District
http://www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/outbreaks/index.htm
 

If you have additional concerns, you may contact the Southern Nevada Health District at 702-759-INFO (4636).
 

Information about viral hepatitis, HIV, and syringe safety are available on the CDC website at:

Viral Hepatitis
http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis
 
HIV Questions and Answers (Q&A)
http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/qa/index.htm

A Patient Safety Threat — Syringe Reuse
Division of Health Care Quality Promotion, February 2008

 
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